Posts Tagged ‘Prevention Does Work: A Guide to a Healthy Heart’

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Clam Chowder with Red Potatoes  by Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

1 medium onion, diced

8 small red potatoes, quartered and parboiled

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ ancho pepper, seeded and minced

9 San Marzano canned whole plum tomatoes, diced

¼ cup marinara sauce

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

2  6 ½ ounce cans chopped clams, drained

2 dozen littleneck clams in their shell

2½  cups chicken broth

¼ cup white wine

1 cup clam broth

½ cup water

freshly ground black pepper to taste.


In a 5 quart stock pot, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and ¼ cup of chicken broth; sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, approximately 15 minutes.  Lower the heat to low-medium, add garlic and ancho pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and marinara sauce; stir and cook for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken broth. Then add clam broth, water, wine, potatoes, black pepper, canned clams, and parsley to the broth. Stir contents of the pot. Place cover, slightly ajar on the pot.  Simmer liquid for 30 minutes, stir occasionally.

Littleneck clams:

After  the soup broth has simmered for 15 minutes, in a large fry pan, add the remaining olive oil, chicken broth and wine, and heat on medium.  When the liquid starts to simmer, add the little-neck clams to the pan and cook until all the clams have opened.  As the clams open, remove them from the pan and set them aside. Discard any clams that do not open after 15 minutes.

Set out two large soup bowls and place a dozen clams in each one. Ladle broth over the clams.

Serves 2



Editor’s Note:  This recipe is adapted from Eileen’s “Seafood Chowder with Red Potatoes” found in “Prevention Does Work: A Guide to a Healthy Heart.” by Paul Goldfinger MD and Eileen Goldfinger, BA.

Our book is still relevant for those who want to learn some heart-healthy recipes—originals by Eileen, with an emphasis on seafood.    It is still available as a paper back from Amazon.  Just type in Paul Goldfinger MD. It is $12.95 in paperback.

We also have posted Eileen’s other clam chowder recipe called Eileen’s Greatest NJ Clam Chowder.


Eileen’s Greatest New Jersey Clam Chowder 2018


PEETIE WHEATSTRAW:   “I Want Some Seafood, Mama.”


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By Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC.

In a recent BF article about the health benefits of fresh produce, I stated that there was very little hard science behind the claims for fruits and vegetables specifically.

Fruits and vegetables for prevention BF article

But a large randomized trial from Spain of 7,400 individuals was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 4, 2013. There were men (ages 55-80) and women (ages 60-80) enrolled in the study. It showed a 30% risk reduction in cardiovascular endpoints as a result of following Mediterranean diets which include fruits and vegetables among its components. These end points included heart attack, stroke, and death due to cardiovascular causes.

The study looked at “high risk” individuals with no overt cardiovascular disease. The trial participants had Type 2 diabetes or at least 3 major risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history of early heart disease, smoking or obesity. The trial was terminated early after nearly five years because the results were so striking.

The control group, which followed a low fat diet, did not show a benefit. There were two treatment groups that did show the benefit. They adhered to a Mediterranean diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish.

One group emphasized nuts ( 30 grams per day of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds—about one palm full each day), while the other group used extra virgin olive oil (about 4 1/2 ounces per day).  The two “treatment” groups also ate poultry, but very little red meat or processed meats, and little in the way of sweets or packaged baked goods like cookies and cake.

Exercise was not part of the study protocol, nor was caloric restriction, although those components are certainly important for any prevention plan.

The precise way that such diets improve risk was not studied here, but there is a lot of evidence that suggests mechanisms. The authors of this trial said, “Perhaps there is a synergy among the nutrient-rich foods included in the Mediterranean diet that fosters favorable changes in intermediate pathways of cardiometabolic risk, such as blood lipids, insulin sensitivity, resistance to oxidation, inflammation, and vasoreactivity.” (Feel free to comment below if you need further translation of these remarks by the Spanish doctors who conducted this valuable trial)

The report summed it up by saying, “In conclusion, in this primary prevention trial, we observed that an energy-unrestricted Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, resulted in a substantial reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events among high-risk persons. The results support the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.”

In our book “Prevention Does Work: A Guide to a Healthy Heart” (2011, iUniverse) we advocate a Mediterranean diet for prevention and we teach about it and offer 36 heart healthy recipes to help anyone who wants to make this important life style change. You can get the paper back version on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and iUniverse.com. It costs about $12.00. Just search under Paul Goldfinger, MD or “Prevention Does Work.”

front cover

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NBC Nightly News (2/27, story 8, 1:45, Williams) reported a study suggesting that “people with low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids had brains with less volume compared with people who had higher levels of the same fatty acids.”

HealthDay (2/28, Storrs) cautions that the research “did not prove that omega-3 fatty acids prevent mental decline, merely that there may be an association between consumption of fatty acids and brain health.

WebMD (2/28) reports, “Previous studies have already shown that people who eat a diet high in fatty fish like salmon and tuna have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Researchers say these results may help explain why.”

Blogfinger Medical Commentary  by Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC:

My mother often told me that fish was “brain food” as she fed me, my brother and my father tuna fish sandwiches and frozen fish sticks.  I actually believed her, although in med school they never made that claim. Now, according to the Neurology Department at UCLA, she may have been right. They should put her name on that paper in the Feb 28 issue of the journal Neurology.

Many doctors are advocating fish oil capsules to achieve some anticipated health results having to do with protecting arteries from damage. But the bulk of fish oil clinical studies were done showing benefits from eating fish.  Presumably taking fish oil capsules will be just as helpful as eating fish, but fish has many nutritional advantages beyond merely swallowing a two pound fish oil capsule each day.

In our book “Prevention Does Work: A Guide to a Healthy Heart” we recount the fish oil story. In addition, in Eileen’s heart healthy cookbook section, we purposely stress sea food preparation. Out of her 34 original and easy-to-prepare recipes, 15 are for seafood. Below is her clam chowder (the red kind) recipe which is a variation on the “Seafood Chowder with Red Potatoes” which is in the book.

In addition, here are two Blogfinger seafood recipes: One is Vivian Huang’s Steamed Fish and the other is Eileen’s Italian Fish soup with Swiss chard.

Link for steamed fish recipe

Italian fish soup

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By Mary Walton, Blogfinger literary editor

When was the last time your doctor gave you information about a healthy diet?

If you answered “never,” this book is for you: Prevention Does Work: A Guide to a Healthy Heart

If Paul and Eileen Goldfinger have their way, you’ll rarely eat another burger (unless it’s turkey). Or mac n’ cheese. Or BLT. Or one of any number of cholesterol-loaded foods that can clog your arteries and threaten life. Instead, you’ll become a regular at the fish counter and stock your pantry with staples that can make even the most prosaic piece of chicken a gourmet’s delight.

Just published, the Goldfingers’  book is subtitled “A Cardiologist and a Cook Present the Facts and the Foods” It’s stuffed with facts and larded with recipes designed to make typical Americans revamp their diet.

But that isn’t all. Says Paul, “We do stress nutrition, but we also cover a variety of important topics including drug therapy, blood pressure, smoking, exercise, mental health, women’s issues and obesity. I want patients to understand that ‘prevention does work,’ meaning that scientific research has proven the life-saving benefits of measures described in our book.”

In the area of nutrition, Paul says, “I tried to cover every issue known in the field of prevention including chocolate, olive oil, red wine, the Atkins diet, and the Mediterranean diet, among other subjects.”

Paul, the founder of Blogfinger, was a practicing cardiologist for 32 years. In medical school, he estimates that no more than an hour was devoted to nutrition. Even today, doctors are focused on immediate results. They don’t push the long-term effects of diet. Nor can they. Fifteen-minute appointments barely give them time to do more than hear a complaint and check a patient’s medications.

Paul at Starbucks

During his years of practice, as one study after another suggested that diet could deter heart disease, Paul began to question the American diet. The Japanese, heavy consumers of fish and vegetables, which are low in fat, had a low incidence of heart disease, as did fish-eating Eskimos. Scandinavians, whose diet is heavy in fat-rich red meat and cheese, did not. In time, rigorous scientific evidence proving that lowering cholesterol prevented heart attacks convinced him that a low-fat diet was essential for his patients. “As more and more results came out,” he said, “it solidified my opinion that doctors aren’t doing their job.”

Paul began to give his patients three-page informational handouts, the forerunner of Prevention Does Work. The book’s chapters are devoted to helpful definitions — from “acute myocardial infarction” [a/k/a heart attack] to “vascular,” referring to blood vessels — the basics of cardiac treatment and the fundamentals of nutrition. The language is clear and simple.

Eileen prepares a heart-healthy feast in her OG kitchen

Meanwhile, Eileen, Blogfinger’s food editor, developed recipes for her husband’s patients. “We found out that patients and their families did not know how to prepare heart-healthy meals,” Paul says. “Eileen collaborated with me in developing recipes that met the prevention criteria: low fat. low salt, fiber, fresh ingredients, low calories and portion control. These recipes emphasize the use of seafood, vegetables and poultry. Our book is a reference source — a guide — to be kept in the kitchen”

Eileen says she aimed for recipes that were simple and didn’t require arcane ingredients. While many of the book’s 30 recipes do feature seafood  and chicken, for people who can’t do without pizza there’s a low-fat version, likewise for chili.

Paul emphasizes that healthy eating “is not a diet you’re on but a lifestyle change.” At the same time, he doesn’t expect every reader to follow his advice to the letter. “If people could just find something — switch from butter to margarine, eat fish twice a week, do a little aerobic exercise,” he says, “they’d be better off.”

Prevention Does Work is currently on sale in Ocean Grove at the Comfort Zone, or it may be ordered on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or iuniverse.com.

Ed. note: Mary Walton is Blogfinger’s new literary editor. Watch for her forthcoming columns on reading and writing in the Grove.

“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees:

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